For today’s post, I have decided to do a bit of a follow-up to a post from last year. I want to take a look at why Cole Turner was always meant to be Phoebe Halliwell’s truest of loves. Now, in that other post, I went over why they were in fact the best couple on the show (yes beating Piper and Leo). In this post, I want to go over what makes them a true love and soulmate pair.
I know that many viewers of Charmed hate that Phoebe pushed Cole away and refused to acknowledge his true desires to be good and reconcile their relationship. I myself do wish that the season five portrayal of their relationship was not that of near character assassination of my two favorite characters. However, I have a more nuanced viewpoint over countless watches of the entire series (and I do mean countless, I watched it as a child the whole run never missing an episode, and have never stopped re-watching it as a comfort show). First off, I will mention that part of what happened in season five was that the actors did not agree with a proposed storyline that would have had Cole fall in love with Paige and begin an affair (hence Phoebe’s pushing him away in the early episodes would have set up for this). I am personally very happy that Rose McGowan and Julian McMahon both refused this plot, as it would have muddied the waters and ruined what made Cole and Phoebe’s relationship so important and special. Honestly, it would have turned Cole into simply a man obsessed with the Charmed Ones who desired to bed as many of them as possible and would have made Paige look like someone that would bed her sister’s ex-husband, likely not something that would have been well-received. The show did not need another love triangle. Viewers already dealt with the stupidity of the Piper-Dan-Leo triangle in season two (Like Piper, could ever be with anyone but Leo in any serious way?).
Now that I have gone over my gratitude that the story was not taken in that direction, I will go into detail about the Cole Phoebe relationship and why (even if I wish she did not push him away) her treatment of him makes some sense. Phoebe is a type seven in the enneagram personality typing system, the same type that I myself fall into. Sevens are described as optimistic, fun-loving, free-spirited, and future-oriented. The core desire of the type seven is to have experiences (fear of missing out can be a big deal with my type) and to avoid situations that make us feel negative emotions. This can lead to avoidance of people with whom we have had traumatic experiences, and the end of season four is nothing if not traumatic for Phoebe and Cole as a couple. I truly feel that this can be read as her doing the wrong things but in an act of what she, at the time, believed to be self-preservation due to her own pain that she was not yet ready to deal with. The choice of Julian McMahon to leave the show prompted Cole to be vanquished (seemingly for good) which meant that Phoebe never had the chance to process her grief and trauma and begin to forgive Cole. Later seasons show she is capable of not being selfish (even though she is incredibly selfish in much of season five and especially season six) and that she can be incredibly forgiving.
Cole and Phoebe both worked to support one another as they grew into themselves. Phoebe refused to kill Cole when finding out he was a demon and did forgive him many times over the third season. Upon actually falling in love with Phoebe, Cole put his own life on the line when he refused to kill the Charmed ones, proving his desire to protect Phoebe. Phoebe became her darkest self by giving in to her love for Cole and becoming Queen of the Source of All Evil. Now, I do know that she was under the influence of her demonic pregnancy at that point, however, I think the main reason she chose to stay with Cole was her love for him! Even when possessed by the darkest of all magic, Cole could not cease to love and protect Phoebe. He had all the chances to reject Phoebe when he was the Source, but he could not because she was his truest love. Their love was even what kept him going in the Demonic Wasteland and helped him to come back. Phoebe was unable to accept Cole back into her life, based in a need to protect herself (as I mentioned above), but her remaining love for him was what caused her to turn into a mermaid. The remaining love they held for one another is also what prompted the Siren to be able to make an attempt on Cole’s life, if they were not married and in love with one another the Siren would not have been able to hold sway over either of them. Even earlier in the same episode, Phoebe outright stated to her boss that she had just gotten over Cole yet still called him “the Love of my Life.” This led Elise to tell her that if she is still referring to this man as the love of her life she is not over him! The whole audience knew this to be true at this time. Even Cole spiraling into madness and eventually going back into the ways of evil made sense after being rejected by Phoebe so many times.
The Phoebe that eventually had the heart to vanquish Cole once and for all is the one from the parallel universe that the Avatars created where Paige had been killed before reuniting with her sisters. That means that regular universe Phoebe may not have been able to kill Cole at that point, even if she wanted to. The only time she could was right after she had come back from her own abyss of darkness and feared being led down the path of evil yet again. Plus, it must be remembered that at that point (the season four vanquish that sent Cole to the Demonic Wasteland) she was still pregnant with a son that she wanted to attempt to save.
After this theoretically final vanquish during the 100th episode, Cole did return in the 150th episode in season seven showing himself to be in a Netherrealm. He shows himself to be good-hearted by truly helping Piper to reunite with Leo after he had fallen from Grace. It is also revealed at the end of the episode that he had been the one to send Drake to Phoebe. He is even unsurprised when Drake admitted that he had fallen in love with Phoebe. It is at this point that I believe that Cole fully proved that he was the real truest love of Phoebe. Phoebe may never have known this, but the audience does, and it is why I would have had them put together at the end of the series. It is not that I dislike Coop, but that I felt that he was her second choice because she could never again be with the man she was meant to be with! That is why I fixed this problem in my fanfiction about Phoebe and Cole by re-uniting them in the future after Coop had died. Link to my fan fiction if you want to read it: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/14043318/1/A-Renewed-Chance-At-Love
I hope that you have enjoyed this long and rambling post where I have, once again, went over why I adore this show and especially Phoebe and Cole as a couple! Do you ship Phoebe and Cole? Did you prefer her with Coop? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!
Note on Inspiration for this Post: I have linked to great YouTube videos I recently found that praise Charmed as the greatest show of all time, even though it is flawed. I truly enjoyed them and although I do not agree with all the opinions of the YouTuber, I do appreciate his sentiments. Of course, I wholeheartedly agree that it is the greatest show of all time!
Note on Image: The image at the top of the post is Phoebe and Cole’s first kiss at their wedding. I found the image on https://sistergeeks.wordpress.com/2015/06/22/10-reasons-we-love-charmed/charmed-phoebe-kiss-cole1/.
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